Nov 30, 2010

The novella that took my breath away....


Custom-made Artificially-Produced Armed Forces

What the f**k.... was my initial reaction.... followed by....wow...

when you pick up a Matthew Reilly novel, or novella, in this case.... you KNOW that you are signing up for a roller coaster ride... it’s going to be exiting, blood pumping and absolutely high speed... it might not have been superbly ORIGINAL or ACCURATE for that matter, but you know that you are in for the ride of your life...

Even when I knew all the above, when Hell Island hit me.... I staggered. MR might not be the most original of authors, but he sure as hell is one of a kind when it comes to the speed in the storyline. Hell Island is a novella. Mere 79 pages…. But wow… what action packed, blood pumping, staggering 79 pages.

The story starts with Scarecrow and his team along with 3 other special forces teams landing on a secret military island, on a deserted warship…. A ship with missing crew and blood stains all over the place… the investigation leads the team to inner parts of the ship, only to hear the rest of the teams falling prey to some unknown enemy…

The speed, with which MR decides to present us with the problem and the solution, is true to his very own style. My head is still reeling from the action and speed. And it’s been over 2 hours that I finished reading it. (it took me slightly over an hour to finish it though). The effects are strong, and I’m tempted to write down the secret that Scarecrow faces on Hell Island, and I’m finding it too hard to NOT TO. So, I’d cut short the review to say….Those who want a small break from daily grind and can’t take a longer break… feel free to race the forces with this novella. It’s a perfect gate away…

Nov 28, 2010

Samit Basu.....

Currently reading Samit Basu's Turbulance...

it started out interesting enough.... indian soil, superheros, current situations, located in mumbai... normal guys being given superpower for unknown reasons....

but i'm half way done, and i'm trying to find reasons to carry on reading the novel... I'm not one of those who abandon novels... i stick out the boredom and finish.... but its REALLY hard this time.. Partly, coz it started out with a real promise... with a possibility that i'm being offered a rare treat... a plot which hardly any indian author has thought about... and you know what, thats exactly what you EXPECT from Samit Basu... he usually writes about stuff which no other indian author would touch... and most of the times he justifies his querky choices .... BUT sadly.... its not so this time....

I'm in process of finishing... will update, when and IF, I manage to finish

Nov 9, 2010

Ancient Egypt.... the land of the mysteries...


When I first picked up a novel by Author Rick Riordan, I was just fulfilling a nagging feeling at the back of my mind. Working in Warner Bros support, tends to do that to your mind… you cant stop yourself from wondering what the movies are all about. So, when I picked up Lightening Thief, I was just trying to understand what is the whole hoobla about Percy Jackson is all about… and voila… I found something that not only caught my attention, but also brought along an attachment… kinda like when I picked up Amulet of Samarkand and felt for the demon Bartimaeus… Percy was interesting, fast paced and engaging at the same time... so much so that I finished reading the entire series in a span of 20 days… 20 working days to be precise… (I was reading it in office, you know)

There was a sense of loss when I came to the end of the series… like I was letting go of a friend… and I KNOW how THAT feels, trust me. Letting a series end, without a real end, is something that I cant ever adjust to… why do authors do that… may be because they want the readers to be hooked on for a NEXT installment of the books by the author… and that works… take Kane Chronicles for the instance…

From a review point of view, The Red Pyramid gives you all that you come to expect from Rick Riordan’s novels… Gods, Magic, Heroes and loads of excitement… Egypt has always been fascinating… at a point in my life, and I suppose its true for almost all of us, that I wanted to be an Egyptologist, just so that I can get to roam around in the land of the Pharaohs…

With Kane Chronicles, Rick Riordan manages to bring back all those memories and aspirations; back to the surface… he brings back the mysteries to life. I don’t call myself an expert, but reading Rick Riordan is like ice-cream. You don’t want it to end, but cant stop eating it…

Carter and Sadie are two teen siblings, who have been separated at the age of 8 and 6 respectively. They are siblings but nothing about them is similar, except for the love towards their parents. Even thought they meet each other only twice a year, they have feelings for each other than any normal teenager would have about his / her sibling. Carter finds Sadie to be rebel, while Sadie believes that Carter has no adventurous bone in his body. Each strapped to a certain lifestyle, they both marvel and want each other’s life style. They are forced to stay on together when their father, Dr. Julius Kane, visits British Museum and blows the Rosetta stone. As a reader you witness their travel with their uncle who takes them away for safety, enjoy their new found powers and even get mystify when you come to understand that the Gods of ancient Egypt are well alive and active… you find yourself anticipating what is coming next, before even realising that you are drawn to the whole Ancient Egyptian Gods plot.

Their fight to save their lives, the motivation to free their father, their learning curve through various Gods they fight, keeps you engaged throughout the novel. You learn to enjoy Khufu’s interferences, and simply love to enjoy Bast’s catty behaviour. Your heart breaks when Bast faces of with Serqet and you assume that Bast is lost forever in Du’at. The story keeps rocking and rolling from one battle to the next and you as a reader find yourself enjoying the whole Gods are walking the earth once again.

I’m not sure that Rick Riordan was trying to send out a message through the novel or anything… but I believe what I took out of the book was, that when you have family around you… you can defeat ANY obstacle, and that you have no idea what you are capable of doing, unless to face extra-ordinary circumstances…

So, anyone looking for a fantastic journey through the rich history of the Land of the Pharaohs, do read the Kane Chronicles first Chapter…. The Red Pyramid

Nov 4, 2010

Fairness



“That isn’t fair!” I insisted.

“Fairness does not mean everyone gets the same,” Dad said. “Fairness means everyone gets what they need. And the only way to get what you need is to make it happen yourself."

Carter Kane from The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

Oct 30, 2010

Myth = Mithya

I finally finished my review... read  it here.

I'm raised in a religion... a religion that is truly interesting. in simpler words, no matter what part of the world you are, you have heard about it, you wondered about and even felt fascinated about it... I'm sure of it....

the whole reason for me talking about my religion is coz I got myself a book...
http://devdutt.com/myth-mithya/

in simple words, the book is true to its tagline... it is a handbook to Hindu Mythology...

Though, I'm raised in a Hindu household, surrounded by rituals and ways of the religion, I couldnt ever be mistaken as a religious person... (frankly, i'm not even sure if i can SPELL religion correctly)... but jokes apart. Though, it was all around me, and at times I was biased about it.... I never really paid any attention to where my faith originates from.... why do we have 330 million gods, and countless demons but never a devil... Why do we have single god reincarnating multiple times... and behave in completely opposite ways... why is it that when the myriad  no of gods are bedecced with gold n jewellery... the one who is known to be the most simple and humble one, Shiva, is also famous for his third eye capable of turning you to ashes just by a glance AND he lives as a yogi, bare of any jewellery and adorns himself with Ash and a SNAKE...

We have demons with the heads of animals, where we worship gods with elephant head, AND almost all gods have multiple hands, and heads...

I might not be religious, but i sure am, inquisitive... and when i read the back cover of the book (its available at the link)... i couldnt stop myself from reading...

i'm halfway through the book... and will be posting a review when I complete reading.... hang on....

Aug 14, 2010

Voracious??


I read more than 5 books last month... :)

Blue Dahlia - Nora Roberts
Black Rose - Nora Roberts
Red Lilly - Nora Roberts
Have a little Faith - Mitch Albom
Night train to Deoli - Ruskin Bond

That's just hard copies...
(soft copies I've read are listed at the bottom of the page)


This month is only 12 days old and I've already finished TWO
Prophecy - Cris Kuzneski
Terror on Titanic - Samit Basu

Do think something is wrong with me?? Not really... I'm just damn bored these days. my office is treating me too nicely... they gave me a wonderful desk with a PC with 2GB RAM, comfortable chair in a central AC, a wending machine that spews a decent tea whenever I feel like, a life size window that opens up to a hillside... add to that the wonderful monsoon, the city is receiving and you will realise that its an ideal location and situation for all NON-WORK type of things...

thus, I being a really obedient type of person... i take full advantages of the wonderful setting I'm being placed into.... :D

Jul 14, 2010

Have a little faith

Remember, the only difference between "marital" and "martial" is where you put the "i"
- Reb Albert Lewis from Have a little faith by Mitch Albom

Jun 25, 2010

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Do you believe in Ghosts? Do you believe dead can communicate? Do you believe they can plot / plan and execute revenge? Do you believe that people can hold grudges in life so close to their hearts that they can plan revenge post their own death?


These are the questions, you need to be prepared to answer or face while you read "Heart Shaped Box" by Joe Hill. In his very first novel, the son of legendary novelist Stephen King tries to handle a genre, in which his father is considered to be the most skillful master. Though, it is not fair, the comparison is unavoidable. Let me be frank, if you are a fan of SK's novels, and you expect a bone chilling, creeping up on you scare... you will be disappointed. But don’t dismiss his just coz he is not like his father... rather, it’s THE thing that should keep you glued to this debut.

In his very first novel Joe Hill, does an excellent job of giving you a skillfully designed plot revolving around an ageing rock legend, buying a ghost and getting a lot more than what he paid for. The plot itself is gripping and in contrast to your expectations of secrecy, like a typical SK novel which are filled with a slow chill creeping up your body from the toes of your foot to the brain... this one comes clean about having a ghost. Joe does not tread the suggestive and indicative path waiting for a psychological grip to creep up on you. His in your face approach is equally shocking and nerve wrecking. The pace at which events happened in Heart Shaped Box is shocking...to say the least. For example the first appearance of the ghost in the novel is done in an entirely acceptable way. There is no drama, no shouts and not fast paced response. Just a simple statement, and a sound, and silent acceptable statement.

It is this in-your-face approach that is the highlight of the Heart Shaped Box and I believe that’s the scoring point for Joe Hill.

Apr 22, 2010

Twenties Girl

Ever thought it would be fun to be haunted by a 105 year old great-aunt?? If not, then you should read Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella.... its too damn funny...

Mar 25, 2010

Musings

Mysteries are more interesting then the certainties. -Ruskin Bond from "roads to Mussoorie"

Only one venom poisons all people, the urge to own. It kills desire, kill love, kills friendship, kills kinship. It shrinks the muchness of the world to a set of walls, a fistful of silver, a pair of limbs. I treat desire as a rite of celebration not a ritual of ownership. Always, desire as celebration. Nothing else. Not ego, not control, not proprietorship.  - Mustafa Syed, nawab of Jagdevpur from "Alchemy of Desire" by Tarun Tejpal.

Feb 26, 2010

Did you know....



  • BUS is the short term for 'Omnibus' that means everybody. 
  • DRAWING ROOM was actually a 'withdrawing room' where people withdrew after Dinner. Later the prefix 'with' was dropped.. 
  • QUEUE comes from 'Queen's Quest'. Long back a long row of people as waiting to see the Queen. Someone made the comment Queen's Quest.. 
  • TIPS come from 'To Insure Prompt Service'. In olden days to get Prompt service from servants in an inn, travelers used to drop coins in a Box on which was written 'To Insure Prompt Service'. This gave rise to the custom of Tips.
  • If you sneeze too hard, you can fracture a rib. If you try to suppress a sneeze, you can rupture a blood vessel in your head or neck and die. 
  • The cigarette lighter was invented before the matchbox.

Feb 25, 2010

You crave for the one that you didn't get

"You crave for the one that you didn't get"
This would be how you summarize Janet Gover's 'The Farmer Needs a Wife'. Delightful debt novel, a slightly different for the usual 'chic-lit' category. 'The farmer' is a story or rather four stories revolving around a single campaign by magazine "Australian Life".

Let’s meet the protagonists:

'Helen', the magazine's editor looking for the ever illusive success for sustaining her magazine.
'Matt', the stud farmer who is unaware of his photo being sent to a national magazine.

One running way from the past while the other embracing it. They touch the part of our careerist lives that dominate our dreams. On the scenic backdrop of Sydney's Opera House you rekindle your own hopes for long forgotten dreams.


'Greg', cane farmer by profession... a silversmith by passion, by heart. Stuck on his father's cane farm. In search of acceptance of love of a father, who never really loved anyone but his own farm. Looking to find someone to share his passions through the 'Farmer' campaign
'Jasi', from Melbourne, writing to Greg, while chasing a dream of a husband and children and leisure of countryside. To innocent to understand her own good, too naive to share his passion for sliver.
'Molly', the model turned freelance photographer. Arriving at cane farm to shoot Greg and Jasi for Australian Life. Finding more than just beautiful landscapes and scenes to photograph. Shunning a dream for better life and not finding it till the very end.


'Peter' and Jenny, loving siblings, in middle of harsh Australian Outback, raising two wonderful twins and working a way out of grief or Peter's Wife, Karen's Death. Peter unaware of Jenny's plan to find him a wife, awaiting a nanny for his adorable kids
Enter 'Sandra', a brit girl, in love with Australia, and all it has to offer, sunlight and sand. Searching for a way to stay in the country and finding a family to belong to instead.


'Leigh', a wine farmer. Spending her days and efforts in growing wine at a farm, and fighting against memories of a fiancé, who walked out of her life with her money and a neighbor who helped him do that.
'Simon', the neighbor, who lost something vital on the day Leigh's fiancé walked out on her. Grieving the loss, looking for comfort from Leigh, but only finding dislike from her. Seeing the campaign from Australian Life as his chance to do something good for Leigh, failing miserably at it and falling head over heels in love himself.


Four stories, four couples and a wonderful backdrop of Australia. The presence of the continent is like the fifth element of the story. Unlike other chic-lits this is set in UK or US. The influence of her upbringing is pretty clear in her debut novel. Even though, she is moved to UK now, her love for her birth-country is etched through the pages of novel. Sydney, Melbourne, Australian Outback, River Downs and farm life... all walks out of the pages into your living room. You can feel the breeze on the harbor, the heat of desert, and call of the wild from farms.


If you happen to pick this one up for a typical Chic-Lit romance, you are in for a treat of a different variety. 'The Farmer' not only gives you romance, but it gives you a warm walk through memory lane, of those days when you dreamt of being something you really loved, because you thought doing what you love mattered. It shows you that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.... coz sometimes, Dreams do come true.

Feb 23, 2010

Is it too late???

What do you miss most about being young?


The carefree college days?
Excitement/nervousness on the results day?
Bunking lectures?
Or more fun events like college days? Parties? Picnics with friends?


I bet most of us actually crave simpler things...
getting up late, mom's food, leisure times during the day, just chilling with friends....


You know what I miss the most?


I miss the sheer amount of enthusiasm I felt. Enthu for all sorts of things. And large amount of dreams I used to have. Dreams of success, money and eventually of happiness.



Half a decade later, the dreams have lost their shine...Money doesn’t hold glamour anymore; it’s a thing of necessity. Dreams of success wilted, shrank to a "better rating" at the end of year... and Happiness.... well there is nothing of the sort on the horizon.



It’s such a sad state that I look back and wonder "What Happened?"



Where did we miss the turn? How did we end up at this place and point of hopelessness.... aimlessness....? (Finding a job for better money, is NOT an AIM)



How did we lose sight of what was once so dear, so important in life... friends, family, smiles....



How and where did we lose out the fondness of pranks?
For lazy afternoons?
Wonders of clouds with weird shapes?



How did life turn out different than originally dreamed....?


You think it’s hard to change it now???

Feb 18, 2010

This one is for my best friend....

Few people are blessed with good friends. And some are lucky enough to have BEST one's. I fall in the later category.... I wrote following book review coz my best friend asked me to do it.... turned out one of my finest reviews yet... thought I should share.


If you have ever had a friend, or rather best friend, whom you have managed to hold on to, keep in contact with over the years, even when life has taken you two in different directions... you will LOVE reading Cecelia Ahern's Love, Rosie. The book was released with multiple names, few of which are Rosie Dunne and Where Rainbows End. I always wondered why that was, but haven't heard any reason for it.



Cecelia Ahern is mostly known for her first novel, which turned out to be a Best seller and was made into a movie with Hillary Swank and Gerald Butler... P.S. I Love You. The novel was start of a whirlwind career and Cecelia hasn’t stopped yet. Her following novels are not as famous as her first one; but trust me; they are much much much better while reading.


I had sworn off Cecelia after reading P.S.I Love You, since that was a total emotional roller-coaster. But like all BAD things, her books have been attracting me through the shelves of book stores, and I keep on falling into temptations and buy them. Only to renew my resolution of swearing off of her books, due to excessive emotional stirrings. Somehow with every book she wrote, she has made a point to touch upon a facet of human emotions and life that we tend to overlook. Take for example the novel in question here.... Love, Rosie.


We all had friends in school. A special one who we chatted up and passed chits while classes were running. Someone with whom we shared our tiffin and gossiped about what you saw your elder bro doing after school. Someone whom we thought was bound to be around us through our lives. School days gradually gave way to college and the position of the best friend switched position with someone new. Once again, the mates in class turned our partners in crime, bunking college, going to movies and an occasional booze session at someone's house. When life took turn towards career, friends moved away and faded into memories. How many of those so called Best Friends are you still in touch with? Not via Orkut or Facebook, but via calls, emails and phones?


That’s where Cecelia's “Love, Rosie” takes us. Down the memory lane when life's biggest decision was between finishing a school assignment and watching TV. Where friends were supposed to be someone who shared your fears of failing in grade exams. Only difference is that the protagonists in the novel, Rosie Dunne and Alex Stewart, actually manage to hold on to each other through the thick and thin of their lives.


It’s an epistolary novel, set in Ireland, about two lovely friends Rosie and Alex. You open the first pages of the novel and are invited to her 7th b'day. BTW, for those who don't know what epistolary is, it means a novel written in form of correspondence. i.e. it’s a book full of written exchanges between the people, notes exchanged in classroom, letters, emails, sms etc etc. Coming back to the story. Love, Rosie takes you through the world of Rosie Dunne, via the pages and pages full of exchanges she has made with people, rather important people in her life. Though the exchanges involve all people around her, the theme of the whole story revolves around her Best Friend Alex.


I've hardly have read a book with the speed I finished this one. Mostly because, the very nature of the book is friendly, short and sweet. You are never really boggled with who is talking about what, since they talk like we normally do. A span of a life time.... almost half a decade, rushes through the 500 pages of the book, and you are taken into the stream without even realizing when you were caught. You get to meet both of them at 7 years of age, and get to grow old with them, till the ripe age of 50. You get to see them falling in love, out of love, into marriages and child births. You get to see them loving each other and experience the nervousness of not realising that it is love.... you get at the edge of the seat wondering why are they not telling each other, and by the time you reach middle of the book you are too exhausted being too involved in the story. You smile at their goof-ups, worry about them, smile with them and cry along with them. You feel the happiness shining on their faces, and you feel the moisture glistening in their eyes when life hits them.


By the time the 500 pages of the book are over, you almost feel content. Content to know that destiny sometimes takes a longer route, but it reaches the destination. Happy that things are falling in place, sad that life took so long to correct its simple mistake.... And sad that the book actually came to an end.


Once again, you realise the wonder of having a best friend. One who understands you without words, someone who listens to you cribbing about life, and someone who shares the joy of just sitting on the porch with, without talking. So, if you have such a friend, do read Love, Rosie and share the warmth with those whom you love.... coz I just did, and it’s a wonderful feeling. :)


Feb 9, 2010

It's a girl thing...

I'm hooked on Chic lits these days....


I still remember the very first one I ever picked up... it was Rachel Gibson's S*x, Lies and Online Dating. A funny little book about an author, who is setting her next novel in an online dating arena.. where a killer meets his potential victims via dating sites; a murderer who is following everything she's writing; and an under-cover police officer who's investigating the author.... meeting her up with a false name online... :)


Like any other typical Rachel Gibson novel, this one has a lot of funny situations, great dialogues, easy flowing narrative and load of steamy situations....  a female in a shitty social situation, mostly tired of her job and boss and unforgiving city... tired of love and bad boys who hurt her, break her heart with every step that they take. A new job in sight or may be a change in the current job, a new man also... most of the times two things clashing with each other... the whole girl meets boy, girl hates the boy and then starts liking him and falling head over heels.... first in lust and then finally tumbling into love...


Any classic chic-lit follows similar plot line... sometimes the girl works in a fashion house, or a magazine... sometimes she's a writer, sometimes she's a teacher at others she's a reporter... an art critic or even a store owner....


I'm addicted to these funny little books, especially by a publication called "little black dress".... just like their tag line.... "Its a girl thing"


more coming your way soon....

Jan 29, 2010

Whales or Mermaids...

Got this in a forwarded mail.... just HAD to share it... 





Recently, in a large city in Australia , a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym. It said, "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.


To Whom It May Concern,
Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans.)
They have an active sex life, get pregnant and have adorable baby whales. 
They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.
They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia , the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia .
Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.
They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans.
They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist.
If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human?
They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them, not to mention how could they have sex?
Just look at them ... where is IT?
Therefore, they don't have kids either.
Not to mention, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me: I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate with my friends.

Jan 26, 2010

Alexander The Great

Every time I read any historical fictions, I always feel like my knowledge is soooo very limited. European history is something they didn’t teach me in School, and I hardly paid any attention to Indian History (though, I would like to believe that I do remember most of it)....


Was reading Will Adams' Alexander Cipher last week. Did you know that they actually have NO IDEA where and how he is buried, and that NO-ONE knows anything about his resting place. The great Alexander''s body was literally dragged through Europe and Egypt for a race to the throne? How sad is it? That a guy, who strove to rule the world, was dragged through all those places he conquered by those very people who helped him in those battles....


Did you know that he was actually called, Iskinder... which would have why, we in India generally refer to him as "Sikander".. funny how names are altered depending on the region they are pronunciated in. Couldn't really stop reminding me of that old story of "Sikandar and Porus".

once again, coming to old cliches... "Reading books is dangerous thing"...

I'm now, pouring over any information that I can get my hands on abou Alexander. (And wondering would taking a college course in European History would help...)


well... its time to log off now... Will keep you updated, if I manage to find something INTERESTING....

Jan 20, 2010

Musical driver....

Ohh BTW, passengers are not the only source of amusement in Mumbai locals though... as I was reminded today morning. sometimes amusement comes to you from unexpected sources.

It’s typical to hear earsplitting announcements when you board a local train from its starting point. most of the times, its the train's driver announcing either that "train is a slow train for town, will halt at all stations" or "train is fast and will halt only on..... Stations". Occasionally a recorded lady's voice reaches you to be vigilant about unclaimed objects around you... We the passengers and train drivers pay equal amount of attention and heed to these announcements. Both equally bored and feeling "yeah, right... as if we really care about all this". Thus, when once in a while it’s rather surprising to the passengers to hear....

When I boarded the train today, I wasn't in a great mood (though, that can be said about MOST of the days I get into train for office)... while I settled in my regular, by the window seat.... I heard the unmistakable cracking of the overhead speaker... and with horror realised that the seat was directly below the speaker. I closed my eyes in silent prayer for the safety of my ears... the driver's shrill, high pitched voice trailed to my ears... and my face lit up in smiles...

its rather surprising to find someone who so clearly enjoys one's job, that even a mundane task like making an announcement about the speed of the train (which I’m sure he has to do at least a dozen times in his 6 hrs shift)... the unnamed driver's voice was so chirpy, happy and musical... that it not only bought smile on my face... but also on all the faces in the compartment.

Lady in Red

Mumbai train offers some of the most entertaining things for my mornings. I travel too long to reach a place that I’d been hating for too long on a daily basis. The only solace to my life is the exciting and interesting mix of people that I encounter in trains.

Take example the dull Tuesday morning. A female, wearing a loud floral print red kurta and stripped black trouser, tousled just out of bed hairs, modest try at making herself presentable with help of make-up and failing miserably at it; walked in the compartment with her mobile glued to her ear. (Which is pretty normal for people nowadays...glued to mobile, I mean). the lady in red was on phone with someone at the other end wailing a long drawl of profanities for someone, I can only assume was her boss, making sure every single soul in the train can hear her and her disgruntled rant.... and as if her voice wasn’t enough, she sat right opposite to yours truly. I tried my best not to listen to her rant (I don’t think I have any other word to express her talks).... but it was as if, she knew I was trying to ignore her voice...she started with a pitch too loud to ignore...

its been a fair game, which I play to myself these days in trains... try and guess the profession of a person...preferably sitting right in front of me... check appearance.. Not what a person is wearing... but HOW the thing is worn... whether colors are in synch, do they complement each other, whether the dress is ironed, what accessories are donned, the footwear... all and all.. The total appearance. In addition to that, I also like to do a bit of eavesdropping... listen to what they are talking on phone... (Which 95% of them do) and take a shot at what profession or field of expertise they hail from... to your utter surprise... and my utter disappointment, these observations have made me realised, that people HARDLY ever behave and talk as you might expect from their profession....

So, coming back to the lady in red.

The female is too loud to ignore. so instead of trying to avoid her for continuing my reading...I eavesdrop (though if someone is practically shouting at you, should that be considered as eavesdropping, is a matter of further discussion)...

In my usual struggle to place what she does... her dressing style, her purse and extra bag... says she doesn't hail from corporate world; no way would her loud colors go in a corp. grey house... I rule out media, owing to her attempt at make-up... I’m considering school... but profanities pouring out from her mouth make me laugh at myself... I’m pondering what and where to fit her... she's complaining abt a lady making her life miserable.. And acting as a monitor in class, and I begin to reconsider my school theory. Then she starts talking about roasters and my brain grabs the word as exhibit no 1... But when this potential TEACHER blurts out "I swear, I’m gonna screw her happiness".... I begin to dread the kind of effect the female might have on the kids in her class...

After some 10-15 minutes of pondering, I finally here the nail in the coffin... "Did you see the results? The kids I gave a distinction are given PASS grades... those poor little souls... how devastating for them..."

And I silently pray to god, to have mercy on the "poor little souls"

But my surprising morning doesn’t stop there.... to top it all off... she FINALLY ends the conversation. (Which if I recollect properly was her 4th phone call... since she got into the train)... and to blow me over the top, opens the bag and takes out a book to read.... 




"How to win friends and influence people" - Dale Carnegie

Jan 19, 2010

Ordinary

Day-to-day things, the ordinary, the mundane is what keeps the motor running. How extraordinary the ordinary is, a tool we all use to keep going, a template for sanity.


Joyce thinks for stopping herself from crying - Cecelia Ahern ( Thanks for the Memories)

Jan 18, 2010

Pottering...

Henry on pottering....
"'There's a lot to say about pottering. You know, Thomas Berry once said that gardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the universe? There are lessons in pottering."
"Like what?"
"Well, even a garden grows stranglers,love. It grows them naturally, all by itself. They creep up and choke the plants that are growing from the very soil as they are. We each have our demons, our self-destruct button. Even in gardens. Pretty as they may be. If you dont potter, you don't notice them."
- Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the memories)

Its like Garden

Its like my garden, love. Everything grows. including love. And with that growing everyday how can you expect missing her to ever fade away? Everything builds, including our ability to cope with it. That's how we keep going.


Says Henry, when answering whether he misses his wife who's been dead for 10 years.
- Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the memories)

Thanks for the memories...

  • Sometimes we need all the glue in the world, just to hold ourselves together
  • "Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim" ( i.e.Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.)
- Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the memories)

Without love

Without love, we all are birds with broken wings. - Mitch Albom (from Tuesdays with Morrie)

Jan 16, 2010

the latest "IN" thing.... Reading

I happen to meet a few people today, who thought that reading is back on the "IN" list.

I was addressing a group of some 2 dozen people, introducing a very interesting course for proficiency in English. (You dont have to remind me that proficiency is not really a proper word... but it seems to work properly here)... and while I was halfway into my ramblings about how to use simple methods to build vocabulary....complaining that people don't like to read...

At which, to my surprise, I was told... that my belief is actually wrong. It was kinda unpleasant to be told that to my face... being a Sagi, its hard to be told that I'm wrong. :) But good part of it being that I was explained why people tend to loose interest....

More pointers for tomorrow's pitch... Wish me luck.

Jan 15, 2010

Ouch

Me and my darling sis... were up till 2AM last night...


Nope, not for partying... TV or even chick-chats.... We were playing a game on her laptop. The game's called ancient civilizations.. or something of that sort. Its a pretty simple, designed for children below 10 yrs games... But even then, she and I were up well past midnight, solving puzzles, hacking jungles and making pegs meet...


Partly, because we were meeting for the first time after the new year... Partly coz mom had left us to be by ourselves, partly coz I've been missing hanging out with her since I got married...


well, whichever you pick... last night was one of the most fun nights I have had in recent past...

Jan 14, 2010

Confusion

One of t most unfortunate thing abt reading multiple novels at time,
is the confusing state they can leave you once in a while.
Especially when two of those novels have a female in one or the other
state of pregnancy, one jst delivered while other jst had miscarriage.
Add to it a close friend tripping you in talks asking you whether you
are pregnant. The confused state that you are left with is simple
unparalleled...

Books and Me....

Did you ever believe that life could be touched by mere words on a paper?


I'm an avid reader.... I use the word avid, coz i cant really find any other word to express the ferocity with which I read. On the good days, I spend most part of my day reading. 10-12 hours of going through words written by people I've never met, and never would meet. I read when I travel daily (and I travel almost 4 hours every day); I read when I am at home, before I sleep, after I wake up, during the window I find between getting ready to leave for office and actually getting out of home, while I'm having my breakfast (I used to read while having dinner also, but I stopped having a sit down dinner recently...so I miss out on that opportunity). I even read while I'm sitting on the platform waiting for the local train to arrive, while I'm in the train waiting for it to move, waiting for it to reach the destination, while I'm waiting for the office pickup to come.... I read when once in a while, I find my workload dipping below its normal weight....


to make the long story short.... I read more than I do anything else... the only thing I can think I do more than reading is breathing... and buying books.


Most of the times, I find people asking me..."You BUY books? Why?" or "What do you do with books once you finish reading them?" or "Why not join a library?"... 
How do you explain why we don't hire people to be your friends? How can I make someone understand that there is no "READ ONLY ONCE" sticker on the books... How do you explain a blind person, what color is???


Another typical response comes when someone jumps up asking "Recommend something for me to read na..."


Its not possible to help someone to discover what joy of finding your call from a book. The right book, is not something you can receive from someone else. What you like, what you won't like, whether you would enjoy reading about rainy days in the mountains of Mussoorie or whether you find joy reading about treks in Amazon jungles; whether fiction about chromosome 6 holds your interest or sanity clouded in insane talks of a space traveler captures your heart.... its something YOU yourself should figure out. At least specify what your areas of interest before you pose a question.... Right?? :)

Dangerous

Books can be dangerous.  The best ones should be labeled "This could change your life."  ~Helen Exley